Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quarantined English Teachers in South Korea -- FREEDOM! For some of them anyway--don't forget the ones still in isolation.

Some of the quarantined English teachers in South Korea have finally been released.

An English Teacher Under Quarantine in South Korea writes about it . . .

Day Eight: Hasta La Vista!

Day Eight: Coda & Credits

UPDATE: Ruby Ramblings is out of quarantine--see the post, We’re free, and confused.

Due to An English Teacher Under Quarantine in South Korea's--a.k.a. "Lando"-- mature and professional attitude he removed all pictures of himself to help his hogwan deal with the negative image problem it's been having due to the misinformation and xenophobia that are a part of the Swine Flu experience in Korea.

Choosing Lando Calrissian as his avatar--how cool is that?

I learned a lot about who "Lando" is through the writing on his blog and some email correspondence. He's a survivor and his sense of humor as a coping strategy and stress reducing strategy illuminate some of the key character traits you have to have to live and teach in Korea.

From the start of the quarantine where the medical staff screwed up by allowing the detained teachers to socialize with each other, not replacing their one day use masks every day with new ones, not reviewing with them how to wash their hands properly when taking off and putting on their masks, not reviewing information about the Swine Flu with them until days later, moving people into different rooms without decontaminating the rooms first and putting in new sheets, lack of hygiene maintenance in the washrooms (refilling paper tower dispensers for example), not decontaminating the ear thermometer as it moved from room to room, no gloves on medical staff at the beginning, not removing garbage and recycling that quickly piled up due to it being bio-hazardous waste, introducing new quarantined teachers into the population of already existing teachers thereby renewing their risk of exposure, not checking gifts and care packages coming into the facility for booze, cigarettes, and other contraband that put the quarantine back two paces for every day it moved forward . . . these things and more were overcome by the foreign teachers in quarantine--and I'm pretty sure that "Lando's" sense of humour helped the other people he was with too.

All of this bad stuff being said "Lando" reassures people that "the medical staff, they really pulled through and turned a tough situation into a great experience. I think everyone learned a lot in those first few days and once things got settled everyone was on the same team. Dr. Lee and the others were top rate, always taking time to answer our questions and make us feel at home."

I don't know if Ruby Ramblings is free and out of quarantine, but I do know that Sparkling Chaos with Brian Dear is out of quarantine and more importantly Just got out.. of a "high-security military facility" where he was treated professionally by highly competent nurses and medical staff. It's good to know that once you are officially diagnosed with Swine Flu that the facilities and staff are top notch--thanks Brian.

I'm not sure how many English teachers are still in quarantine . . . I'm going to try and find out and later post links and/or the info itself.

Roboseyo and Ratemyhogwan and BrianinJeollonamdo have been a part of the group sending in care packages to the quarantined teachers (for example, here and here) so let's not forget the people still in isolation, and if you're able to send something to them they'd really appreciate it.

You can read about how Rob from Roboseyo actually went with people to drop off care packages in his post called, Care Package at the Quarantine.

It looks like the most recent organizing post for where and how to send care packages is here from Ratemyhogwan.

BrianinJeollonamdo usually has the most comprehensive updates and links about the quarantined teachers situation. See here for an example of his latest update.

Here's hoping the situation diminishes and nobody else is quarantined.


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